Daniel Burstein

Copywriting Contest: Write the best-performing subject line and win

Subject lines are by far the easiest element of your email marketing to test. Heck, probably the easiest element to test period.

And it’s a good thing too. There’s a lot you can learn about your audience from testing subject lines:

  • What elements of your value proposition are most appealing?
  • Do you have to offer an incentive to get your customers to take even a basic action?
  • If so, which incentive works best?

But here’s another thing about subject line testing … sometimes you just hit a wall. To quote The Barenaked Ladies, sometimes you just feel like, “It’s all been done.”

 

HOW DO YOU BREAK THROUGH THIS WALL?

As a one-man wolf pack — an individual copywriter or marketer writing subject lines — sometimes you simply run out of ways to rearrange a few characters in a small space. At these times, you need to reach out and get fresh, outside test ideas to push the envelope:

  • Designers
  • IT
  • Sales
  • Customer Service
  • Your marketing peers within (and outside) your company
  • Your audience

This is why we’re turning to you today. We’ve written a lot (and I mean a lot) of subject lines, and are looking for a truly fresh perspective for an upcoming marketing send about Optimization Summit 2012 in Denver.

And we’ll make it worth your while. The winning subject line in our test will receive a free ticket to Optimization Summit 2012 plus a free MarketingExperiments Landing Page Optimization Online Course. That’s a $1,900 value.

 

HERE’S HOW YOU CAN WIN

Simply submit the subject line you think will receive the most clickthroughs (our KPI is CTR, not open rate). The research question for this test is, “Which subject line will produce the highest clickthrough rate?”

The only variable in this test will be the subject line. The email copy, offer and everything else will stay exactly the same, so this is a single-factor test. You can read the email below …

 

THE EMAIL

Subject Line: [Hey, you tell us]

Dear Marketer,

Once visitors reach your landing pages, do they have a clear understanding of what they should do next? Only through testing will you know for sure. Whether it’s to get more information, download a white paper, or register for an event, it should be very clear to your audience what the next step should be.

The challenge isn’t testing. The challenge is discovering what changes to test.

Join us for Optimization Summit 2012, where our industry experts will teach you how and what to test. Over the course of four days, you’ll discover exactly what you need to change on your key landing pages from your e-commerce, subscription or lead-gen paths.

We’ve assembled a team of industry experts that can help you with your unique set of circumstances. Although the general sessions and pre-Summit workshop will be very informative, there is nothing quite like advice that is tailored to your specific situation. That’s where our one-to-one coaching clinics come in. This is your chance to get one-to-one advice on:

  • Metric and Analytics Setup
  • Test Validity
  • Value Proposition
  • Metric and Analytics Interpretation
  • Conversion Optimization
  • Test Setup

Click here to watch a short video clip highlighting Dr. Flint McGlaughlin, one of our keynote speakers, discussing how you can optimize your landing pages for maximum conversion.

 

 

Our goal is for every one of our attendees to leave the Summit armed with great ideas and answers to their most pressing optimization questions.

Looking for more information? Visit the Optimization Summit 2012 website to get more information on the agenda, location and reasons to attend.

 

Early Bird Special Ends April 30: Reserve your ticket and save $300.

We look forward to seeing you and your peers in Denver.

Sincerely,

Todd Lebo
Senior Director of Content & Business Development
MarketingSherpa

P.S. Interested in bringing your entire team? Groups of three or more can save 25% off the cost of their tickets.

 

THE JUDGES

Nathan Thompson, Senior Research Manager, MECLABS will pick the three subject lines he thinks will earn the highest clickthrough rate based on his extensive testing experience. At the same time, Brian Clark and Sonia Simone of Copyblogger (two folks who know a thing or two about copywriting) will pick their three favorite submissions from their audience to include as treatments in the test, as well.

But the ultimate judge will be the customer. Whichever selected subject line receives the most customer response will win.

And, even if you don’t win, you can show the world your mad persuasive copy skills by using the comments section below.

So just submit your subject line in the comments section by Wednesday, March 28, at midnight Eastern Daylight Time. Good luck. And may the best subject line win.

[Note: Submitting a comment with a subject line on this blog post constitutes acceptance of the terms and conditions of this contest.]

 

UPDATE:

To answer two questions we received…

The CTR we’re measuring is “unique clicks divided by the number of emails delivered.” If we just measured opens, we could get an email with a great open rate and little CTR beacause it has an enticing (and misleading) subject line that has nothing to do with the email copy. For example, a subject line like “Tim Tebow makes a Kony 2012 protest message on Romney’s Etch-a-Sketch” might get great open rate, but have little CTR.

Also, there is no restriction on length. Write whatever subject line you think will perform best.

 

UPDATE: This contest is now closed. Of course, you’re still welcome to comment. 

You can see the results of this contest at …  Subject Line Test: 125% more unique clickthroughs

 

Related Resources:

Email Testing: More specific subject line improves open rate by more than 35%

The Three Key Elements of Irresistible Email Subject Lines

Email Subject Lines: Longer subject increases opens 8.2%

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Categories: Email Marketing Tags: , , , ,



  1. Elise
    March 28th, 2012 at 17:57 | #1

    Test your way to success!

  2. March 28th, 2012 at 20:07 | #2

    Subject line: 10 Reasons why you shouldn’t attend Optimization Summit 2012
    Subject line: Be better than average: Join us for Optimization Summit 2012
    Subject line: Learn secrets that will make your conversions soar higher than the Mile High City: Join us in June for Optimization Summit 2012
    Subject line: Our Experts Can’t Predict The End Of the World But We Can Show You How To Increase Conversions Month Over Month: Join Us For Optimization Summit 2012
    Subject line: Optimization Summit 2012: Miss It And You’ll Be Missing Clients in 2013!
    Subject line: 10 Million Reasons To Attend Optimization 2012
    Subject line: 10,000 Landing Pages Tested and Optimized! We Know Optimization and YOU can too. Attend Optimization Summit 2012
    Subject line: Master Optimization and Conversions In 24 hours: Optimization Summit 2012
    Subject line: Only The Best Will Attend Optimization Summit 2012
    Subject line: You’ll Never Be The Best By Reading Articles About Optimization: Learn From The Pros At Optimization Summit 2012
    Subject line: Impress Your Clients, Wow Your Boss, Be Your Best: Optimization Summit 2012
    Subject line: Love What You Do. Be An Optimization Rock Star! Attend Optimization Summit 2012
    Subject line: Exceed Your Goals, Master Your Craft, Be A Trail Blazer! Optimization Summit 2012
    Subject line: Move The Needle, Exceed ROI Goals, Be More Profitable: Attend Optimization Summit 2012
    Subject line: Be Inspired, Be Excellent, Be The Best! Optimization Summit 2012
    Subject line: Optimization Summit 2012: We’re Pushing The Limits To Make You The Best. Join Us in Denver June 11-14

  3. ANUJ
    March 29th, 2012 at 02:55 | #3

    Sub: Turn Clicks to Clients @ Optimization Summit 2012

  4. March 29th, 2012 at 09:49 | #4

    Get armed in Denver for killer conversion rates

  5. Cheryl Ayres
    April 3rd, 2012 at 13:26 | #5

    So – who won?

  6. April 4th, 2012 at 08:33 | #6

    Cheryl,
    Thanks for asking. We had 897 entries, so our research team, and the Copyblogger team, are currently culling through them.

    We will then run the tests, decipher the results, and share them with the MarketingExperiments audience. Stay tuned. :)

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